Polish Chess Championship: all about the beauty

3/3/2011 – There is no memorable tournament without beautiful games. In our second visit to the men’s and women’s sections of the Polish Chess Championship (12-20 February 2011) we focus on spectacular shots, pretty combinations, and elegant mating conclusions. After that you can take a short pictorial trip around Warsaw, the city where the tournament was held. Report by Piotr Kaim.

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Polish Chess Championship: all about the beauty

Report by Piotr Kaim
Photos by Sylwia Rudolf/Polish Chess Federation

The Championship was held in Warsaw from 12 February to 20 February 2011. While the women’s section was a round robin with nine rounds, the men fought the same distance in a Swiss format with 22 participants. GM Mateusz Bartel won the men’s section convincingly (7.0/9), finishing a full point ahead of the field and suffering not a single loss. In the women’s section the victor, WGM Jolanta Zawadzka (2371), also scored 7.0/9 with not a single loss.

Final standings



Player Rtng. Pts
1 GM Bartel, Mateusz 2617 7.0
2 GM Jaracz, Pawel 2543 6.0
3 GM Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2726 6.0
4 GM Socko, Bartosz 2660 5.5
5 GM Swiercz, Dariusz 2540 5.5
6 GM Olszewski, Michal 2532 5.5
7 GM Kempinski, Robert 2600 5.5
8 GM Mista, Aleksander 2565 5.5
9 GM Macieja, Bartlomiej 2636 5.0
10 IM Tazbir, Marcin 2527 5.0
11 GM Gajewski, Grzegorz 2569 4.5
12 IM Piorun, Kacper 2513 4.5
13 IM Krysztofiak, Marcin 2449 4.5
14 GM Miton, Kamil 2616 4.5
15 GM Jakubowski, Krzysztof 2502 4.5
16 IM Kanarek, Marcel 2405 4.0
17 GM Markowski, Tomasz 2625 4.0
18 IM Staniszewski, Piotr 2407 4.0
19 m Sadzikowski, Daniel 2389 3.5
20 IM Pakleza, Zbigniew 2495 2.0
21 IM Dragun, Kamil 2432 1.5
22 m Stoma, Pawel 2342 1.0

Women's section


Player Rtng. Pts
1 WGM Zawadzka, Jolanta 2371 7.0
2 GM Socko, Monika 2489 6.5
3 WGM Szczepkowska, Karina 2254 5.5
4 WGM Jaracz, Barbara 2274 5.0
5 WIM Worek, Joanna 2274 4.5
6 WIM Toma, Katarzyna 2238 4.0
7 WGM Dworakowska, Joanna 2334 4.0
8 WFM Kulon, Klaudia 2220 3.5
9 WGM Majdan-Gajewska, Joanna 2359 3.0
10 WFM Lach, Aleksandra 2172 2.0

We start the games’ selection with a fine Ruy Lopez encounter played in the round one. Krzysztof Jakubowski, the winner, was awarded the beauty prize for this particular game. Tomasz Markowski, the one who lost, is one of the Polish leading players – several national championship titles and the bronze taken at the European Championship of 2000 are among his achievements. The game showed he was not in top form and, indeed, he finished with the modest 4/9 score.

Definition of a “Spanish torture”: running into 3.Bb5 against GM Krzysztof Jakubowski

Jakubowski,Krzysztof (2502) - Markowski,Tomasz (2625) [C98]
ch POL Warsaw POL (1), 12.02.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 Bb7 13.d5 Bc8. This position can be also reached via 12... Nc6 13.d5 Na5. 14.b3. Poor position of the Na5 is a major headache for Black. Therefore, before making the standard manoeuvre Nd2-f1, White excludes the possibility of Na5-c4-b6. 14...Bd7 15.Nf1 Nb7

16.g4. The main line is 16.Ng3 . GM Krzysztof Jakubowski told us that he opted for the text move to sharpen the game and to avoid usual set-ups, well known to his opponent. 16...Rfc8 17.Ng3 g6 18.Nh2. Commenting upon this part of the game, Krzysztof pointed out that he should have prepared against 18...c4 and 19...a5 with the prophylactic move Be3, which could be played now. Soon we shall see why it was so important. 18...c4 19.b4 a5 20.a3 axb4 21.cxb4. Black obtained the c4 passed pawn. If White had played 18.Ge3 instead of 18. Nh2, he could have recaptured 21.axb4, avoiding such a scenario. 21...Ne8 22.Kh1 Qd8 23.Rg1 Bg5 24.Nf5 Rc7 25.Nf3 f6? A grave error leading to a disaster. - "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" - commented GM Jakubowski.

Analysis diagram

26.Nxg5 fxg5 27.Nh6+! Kg7 28.h4 gxh4 29.g5 Qe7 30.f4! exf4. Otherwise, White could go 31.f5. 31.Bxf4 Kh8 32.e5!

Black resigned, as his position is just about to collapse. He cannot play 32. ..dxe5 33.Bxe5+ Qxe5, because of 34.Nf7+ and 35.Nxe5. On the other hand, White is threatening 33.exd6 Nbxd6 34.Qd4+ Ng7 (34...Qg7 35.Be5) 35.Bxd6 Qxd6 36. Nf7+ and 37.Nxd6. The defence 32...Ra6 is not sufficient due to 33.Re1, e.g. Qf8 34. e6 Bc8 35.Rf1 Qe7 36.Qf3 Bxe6 37.dxe6 Qxe6 38.Be5+ and 39.Qf8+ 1-0. [Click to replay]

The peculiar thing is how the game affected the winner. Having received abundant congratulations from participants and viewers, Krzysztof went on to lose four consecutive games to reach the lamentable 1/5! Fortunately, he then rebounded to score 50 per cent in the whole nine-round distance.

Dariusz Swiercz, the winner of the following game is a great Polish hope. He became a Grandmaster in 2009 at the age of 15 and recently played in the Wijk an Zee GM-C group, scoring +2 and beating top two prize winners Vocaturo and Nyzhnyk. Nevertheless, it did not satisfy his ambition, just like the reported Polish Championship, where he also scored +2 (sharing 4-8).

Mona Lisa smile from GM Dariusz Swiercz

Kanarek,Marcel (2405) - Swiercz,Dariusz (2540) [E59]
ch POL Warsaw POL (4), 15.02.2011 – Ad-hoc comments by Dariusz Swiercz

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.a3 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Qc7 10.h3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 e5 12.Ba2 e4 13.Nd2. Another option is 13.Nh2 intending f2-f3, which is difficult to achieve after the text move, when the e3 pawn is unprotected and the Bxh3 tactics is in the air. Instead, after 13.Nd2 he wants to play a3-a4 and then Bc1-a3. As for me, I am going to exchange white colour bishops by Re8 and Be6. 13...Re8 14.a4 Be6 15.Ba3 cxd4. A pawn sacrifice 15...b6!? was very interesting. During the game I assessed there would be a good compensation after e.g. 16.dxc5 Ne5 . However, finally I opted for a more solid 15...cxd4. 16.cxd4

Important moment. It's clear that the bishops are going to be exchanged, but if I play 16...Bxa2, I would improve his pieces. Instead, I opted for 16...Qd7 inviting him to improve mine. 17.Bxe6. The goal achieved. 17...Rxe6 18.Qb3 Nd5 19.Nb1?! In general it's not a bad idea to exchange the strong Nd5, but sometimes you do not have time for what you want. He should have played 19.Rab1 b6 20.Rfc1 with equal play. Black has a stronghold in the centre, which can be further enhanced by Rd8, and a potential to attack the king through Rg6 or Rh6. White, in turn, can play through Qb5, Nc4, a4-a5 and, if he is allowed to, Nc4-e5. 19...Rg6. 19...Na5 intending Rc8 and Nc4 was another reasonable option. 20.Kh1 Rh6 21.Nc3?

White is consistent, but it is not helpful - the text move is losing. Rybka recommends to admit that the whole Nd2-b1-c3 plan was a failure and play 21.Nd2. 21...Nxd4!! I could have also started with 21...Rxh3+. 22.exd4. Nice looking mate pictures could result from 22.Qxd5 Rxh3+ 23.Kg1 (if 23.gxh3 Qxh3+ 24.Kg1 Nf3#) 23...Qxd5 24.Nxd5 Ne2# mate. 22...Rxh3+ 23.Kg1. If 23.gxh3 Black are mating after 23...Qxh3+ 24.Kg1 Nf4 and Qg2. 23...Rxc3. I am two pawns up, the game should be finished quickly. 24.Qb5 Qxb5 25.axb5 Rb3 26.Rfb1 Rxb1+ 27.Rxb1 f6 28.Rc1 Kf7 29.f3 exf3 0-1. [Click to replay]

Now, let’s have a look at the women’s play. In the following game WGM Joanna Dworakowska got into trouble due to her deficient opening preparation. Then she showed her customary courage, imagination and tactical skills, which changed the situation entirely...

WGM Joanna Dworakowska cannot wait for a new tactical fistfight

Lach,Aleksandra (2172) - Dworakowska,Joanna (2334) [E99]
ch POL (women) Warsaw POL (6), 17.02.2011

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.Bd2 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.c5 g5 14.Rc1 Rf7 15.cxd6 cxd6 16.Nb5 g4?! White should not be allowed to place the knight on c7 that easy. Theoretical moves are 16...Ne8 ; or 16...Ng6 and the differenc e between them is often a matter of a move order. After 16...Ng6 the play transposes to the game Ivanchuk-Cheparinov (Sofia, 2008), which went on 17.Qc2 Ne8 18.Nf2 h5 19.a4 Bf8 20.h3 Rg7 21.Qb3 Nh4 22.Qc2 g4 23.fxg4 Nf6 and then the Ukrainian thinker won in a brilliant way. 17.Nc7 Rb8 18.Qa4. "Now I realised that 18...a6 can be met with 19.Ne6 and I have a veryunpleasant position," Joanna Dworakowska told us. 18...g3 19.h3

The timid 19...a6 leads to a difficult position after 20.Ba5 b6 21.Ne6. Therefore, Black decides to muddy the waters. 19...Nexd5!? 20.Qxa7. Another viable option was 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.exd5 . White might have feared 21...Qh4 with subsequent Bxh3, but in fact the Black's attack can be parried with 22.Rxc8+ or 22.Qxa7 Bxh3 23.gxh3 Qxh3 24.Rf2 gxf2+ 25.Nxf2 Qg3+ 26.Kf1 and White has a significant edge. 20...Bxh3!? Obviously, there was no point in 20...Nxc7 or 20...Rxc7 due to 21.Qxb8. 21.exd5. 21.gxh3 was out of question, because of 21...Nxc7. 21...Bf5 22.Ne6 Bxe6 23.dxe6 Rf8. Black wants to keep the d8-h4 diagonal cleared for the queen, but better was 23...Re7 threatening 23...Ra8 and preparing the queen sortie via e8. Still, White could retain an advantage after 24.Qa5 Qe8 25.Nxf4 exf4 26.Bxf4. 24.Ba5?! The following play showed that this move was not a good one. On the other hand, the position was so sharp that it was easy to go astray. The crucial thing is the Black's threat to deliver mate after Qd8-e8-h5-h2 or Nh5 followed by Qd8-h4-h2. However, White has a sufficient defence by Rf1-d1, Kg1-f1 and Qa7-g1, or say Kf1-e1 and Be2-f1. Therefore, the most practical solution was 24.Rfd1 and White should win due to her material superiority. 24...Qe8. "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" Joanna told us. 25.e7

White probably hoped for 25...Rf7? or 25...Qxe7?! 26.Rc7. Black, instead, begins a tactical feast. 25...Qh5! 26.exf8Q+ Bxf8!! 26...Rxf8 was erroneous due to 27.Rfe1 and Black is lost. 27.Rfe1 Ra8! That is why the black bishop was necessary on f8 - White cannot retort 28.Qxa8 with check. 28.Bb6?! Slightly better was 28.Qb6 Nd5 29.Bd1 (the queen cannot leave the g1-a7 diagonal, due to 29...Qh2+ and 30...Qh1 mates) 29...Nxb6 30.Bxb6 though Black would still have a winning position after 30...Ra6. 28...Qh2+ 29.Kf1 Qh1+ 30.Bg1 Rxa7. The rest is clear. White is doomed. 31.Nb4 Ra8 32.Bc4+ Kh8 33.Nd5 e4 34.Rc3 Nxd5 35.Bxd5 e3 36.Rc7 Re8 37.Bc4 d5 38.Bd3 Bg7 39.Re2 Qh6 40.Rec2 Qe6 41.Ke2 h5 42.Rxb7 Rc8 43.Rb4 Rxc2+ 44.Bxc2 Qc8 45.Bb3 Qc5 0-1. [Click to replay]

Another example of women's play. WGM Barbara Jaracz showed how to win the following endgame in style.

WGM Barbara Jaracz showed an ambitious play and finished 4th

Kulon,Klaudia (2220) - Jaracz,Barbara (2274) [C99]
ch POL (women) Warsaw POL (1), 12.02.2011

47...Rb2+ 48.Re2 Rxa2! 49.Rxa2 Bb2! The mouse got slammed. Now Black can use zug-zwang to capture the d pawn; afterwards, she can send her king for the white rook or the g and h pawns. 50.g4. Delaying the pawns' moves was hopeless either, e.g. 50.Ke3 Kf7 51.Ke4 Ke7 52.Kd3 Kd6 53.Kc4 (if 53.Ke4 then 53...f5+ and 54...Kxd5) 53...f5 54.h4 h6 55.g3 g5 56.h5 f4 57.gxf4 gxf4 58.Kd3 Kxd5 59.Ke2 Ke4 60.Kf2 Kf5 61.Kf3 Kg5 62.Ke4 Kg4 etc. 50...Kf7 51.Kf3 Ke7 52.Ke4 Kd6 53.h4 Kc5 54.h5 Kd6 55.g5 f5+ 0-1. [Click to replay]

The following game (from the men’s section) is a must-see for anyone who has anything to do with the Classical Caro-Kann.

IM Kacper Piorun’s preparation can be dangerous for anyone

Piorun,Kacper (2513) - Stoma,Pawel (2342) [B19]
ch POL Warsaw POL (2), 13.02.2011

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0-0-0 Be7 13.Kb1 0-0 14.Ne4 c5 15.g4!?

This line has become popular due to players, who are inclined to initiate wild complications from the very beginning and are ready to offer their original home analysis. IM Kacper Piorun is one of them. Two months before this game he used 15.g4 to beat a very strong GM Alexander Riazantsev (2689) at the European rapid Championship (Warsaw, 2010). 15...Nxg4 16.Qe2 Qb6 17.Rdg1 f5 18.Nh2 Ngf6 19.Nxc5 Nxc5 20.dxc5 Bxc5 21.Bxh6 Bd4 22.c3 Ne4 23.Ka1 Nxc3 24.Qc2 Ne4 25.Bxg7 Bxg7 26.h6 Rac8 27.Rxg7+ Kh8 28.Qd1 Qc6 29.Nf3! Nxf2 30.Qg1 Ng4 31.Ne5!

The knight threatens 32. Nxc6 and 32.Ng6 mate. After the only defence 31...Nxc6, White plays 32.Rh7+ and Qg7 mate. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Pictorial trip around Warsaw

Royal Baths Park (Lazienki Krolewskie): Frederic Chopin
cannot recall his favourite line of Giuoco Piano

The Royal Road: an area of students, cafes and boutiques

The Royal Road continued: we are just about entering the Old Town

The 600-year-old chess rook that was excavated …

…at the courtyard of the Copper-Roof Palace (Palac pod blacha)

The Old Town: some people are still longing for the times of the king Sigismund III Vasa (on top of the column)

Previous report

Bartel wins Polish Championship despite a disturbing thought
27.02.2011 – Mateusz Bartel (2617) and Jolanta Zawadzka (2371) won the Polish Chess Championship men’s and women’s sections respectively. Both the winners came clear first, scoring 7/9. GM Bartel won the tournament for the second time in a succession and showed a respectable 2789 performance. That in spite of disturbing night-time thoughts. Pictorial report by Piotr Kaim.


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